Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction

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Guilford Press, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 148 pages
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Exciting and engaging vocabulary instruction can set students on the path to a lifelong fascination with words. This book provides a research-based framework and practical strategies for vocabulary development with children from the earliest grades through high school. The authors emphasize instruction that offers rich information about words and their uses and enhances students' language comprehension and production. Teachers are guided in selecting words for instruction; developing student-friendly explanations of new words; creating meaningful learning activities; and getting students involved in thinking about, using, and noticing new words both within and outside the classroom. Many concrete examples, sample classroom dialogues, and exercises for teachers bring the material to life. Helpful appendices include suggestions for trade books that help children enlarge their vocabulary and/or have fun with different aspects of words.

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This is one of the best books I've ever read as a teacher. For the last 10 years I have applied its principles and my students' vocabulary development has been amazing. The best part is that it's true learning that lasts. Even after my students leave my first grade classroom they continue to incorporate the words they learn in their conversations and writing! 

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About the author (2002)

Isabel L. Beck, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has conducted research and published widely in the areas of decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. Her contributions have been acknowledged by awards from the International Reading Association, the National Reading Conference, and the American Federation of Teachers, and she is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. Margaret G. McKeown, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh. Her research on reading comprehension and vocabulary has been published extensively in outlets for both researcher and practitioner audiences. Dr. McKeown is a recipient of the Dissertation of the Year Award from the International Reading Association and a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship. Before her career in research, she taught elementary school. Linda Kucan, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Instruction and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. In addition to vocabulary instruction, her research interests include classroom talk about texts and the design of meaningful and motivating tasks to support comprehension of text.

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